Monday, February 18, 2008


As the Champions League competition resumes this coming week, let's recap the matches played through the weekend.

In England, the weekend was spent on the FA Cup Round 5. Manchester United thrashed Arsenal 4-0, Chelsea won 3-1 against Huddersfield and Liverpool lost 1-2 against Barnsley.

In Spain, Espanyol were beaten 2-4 by FC Sevilla, Real Zaragoza were beaten 1-2 by Barcelona while Real Madrid were bean 1-2 by Real Betis.

In Italy, Inter Milan bean Livorno 2-0, Juventus beat Roma 1-0 and Parma drew 0-0 with AC Milan.

The matches to be played are:

Schalke 04 VS. FC Porto
Roma VS. Real Madrid
Liverpool VS. Inter Milan
Olympiacos VS. Chelsea

Arsenal VS. AC Milan
Fenerbahce VS. FC Sevilla
Celtic VS. Barcelona
Lyon VS. Manchester United

First of all, the focus will be on Benitez. The once untouchable Liverpool coach who is now in danger of being sacked if his team does not perform well in the Champions League. Well, in fact, it was the Champions League that made him an idol in Liverpool so he has to perform no matter what. This is especially after a humiliating defeat in the FA Cup eventhough he rested some key players. As for Arsenal, the thrashing may or may not affect their morale in the league battle but they are going to face AC Milan. Arsenal will be happy to know that Milan have many key players injured.

AC Milan are more worried about Ronaldo it seems that the Champions League. For the last few days, football fans have been worrying about Ronaldo's injury. It could be perhaps the last chance we could ever see him playing competitive football. There were even speculations of him pumping full of anabolic steroids in order to build up the player physically to help him grow in his early days in PSV Eindhoven. As a result Ronaldo then developed muscles that were unable to co-exist with his knee’s bone structure, leading to devastating problems in later years.

Manchester United themselves are facing Lyon and should be able to play well. C.Ronaldo is still very much on form and Ferguson will be delighted to play the Champions League now especially after that morale boosting win against Arsenal. As for Chelsea, they have Terry back from injury and Lampard in scoring mood. This should be enough for them to play in the Champions League.

Barcelona won from controversial referee decision but they will face a tricky side in Celtic. Ronaldinho is back though so it could help them a lot at this crucial moment. Roma were defeated during the weekend but will face a weakened Real Madrid side which have no Robinho and many defenders out injured. Real themselves have a pretty bad away record of late so playing in Rome will be tricky for them as well. As for FC Sevilla, they seem


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